MuckRock’s amazing community of FOIA and public records enthusiasts have crossed another milestone: A user recently filed the site’s 50,000th requests, the 9,486th request this year.
Following a FOIA appeal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released ten new pages of their investigation into links between the PROMIS scandal, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, and the mysterious death of Danny Casolaro. FOIA lawyers and experts are divided as to whether this new release implies the Bureau previously improperly cited the “open investigation” exemption, or whether it had stopped being applicable between the initial FOIA response and the appeal.
The official record on the 2015 death of Mikhail Lesin deems the event an accident, the result of falling and suffering a number of “blunt force injuries” in his hotel room after a days-long alcohol binge. But while others have cast doubt on that account, attributing it to more nefarious external actors, materials released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation don’t contradict the accidental death determination.
As part of the investigation into the death of journalist Danny Casolaro, the local police created a videotaped “reenactment” of his alleged suicide. The tape was used later to help an expert conclude the death was a suicide, and then seized along with the other evidence by the federal government. In response to a FOIA request for a copy of the tape, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has declared that it’s exempt from release - but won’t say why.
For the legal world of the living, the deceased generally lack a right to privacy, their government records suddenly subject to disclosure. But in each state, laws limit what can be released to whom.
Carlton Purvis sent this request to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner of Los Angeles County, CA